I’m taking a break from my Costa Rica Sketchbooks to share my present project: seasonal descriptions of my learning curve with up to fifty species of mushroom. I’m writing these chapters to enhance a new edition of Great Lakes Nature, scheduled for publication in September, 2018, by Indiana University Press. I’m sharing only this entry, to give persons interested in my artist/writer life a taste of what I’ll be doing for the rest of this year.

And what will become of Costa Rica? I think I’ll save the second half for an ebook! I’ve never done an ebook before, and it may be just the instruction I need. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m really enjoying these mushroom pages, especially the art! Enjoy!

Opt In to My New Newsletter!

Remember FIZZ? That was the paid subscription newsletter I once snail-mailed to many of you. This website followed, then my Etsy store, and a page on facebook. As you can guess from my neglect of this website, it’s getting too much for me to maintain all that while trying to write books and make art. So instead, I’ve decided to make most of my work available on Etsy, and offer a free, “mostly monthly” newsletter.

I’ve been itching to do a comic strip for a couple of years now. I’ve indulged that yearning with my November newsletter. Please click on the opt-in link in the upper right corner of my home page—I’m not allowed to just send my newsletter to everyone on my email list. So please ask for it. I hope you will find it amusing.

Find information about my upcoming annual open house, along with my many shows around Michigan, in my newsletter. And I’ll probably pop in a discount coupon here now and then.

Sign up for Mary’s new January memoir workshops!

I am planning a series of classes designed to get you writing about your life in a simple, easily done format. Love, Life, and What I Wore: Getting My Life Out of the Closet will focus on what you remember that you or others in your life wore and what it meant to you. Believe me, we will find stories in your life that you forgot you had. And we’ll even do simple watercolor illustrations!

I’m basing this workshop on a book I have loved for years of a similar title: Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a little hardcover book by Ilene Beckerman. It would be a worthwhile purchase as a textbook, although not necessary. You can buy this very cheaply on or you can read the whole book for free on Google.

And here’s the good part: you don’t have to do the whole workshop series. You can come to one, any or all the classes. Although we will build a memoir from class to class, you can get started at any of them. My new studio can handle quite a few of us comfortably, but if classes go over ten people, I may add an afternoon class as well. While you could do this alone, you will find motivation, inspiration and fun in company.

Times: Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. January 6, 13, 20, and 27.
Cost: $20 per class. To assure your place for the entire workshop, please pay me in advance ($80 for 4 classes); otherwise, just pay me for one class ($20) when you arrive (RSVP me first, though). You bring your favorite pen and pad, and I will supply everything else, from watercolors to paper to brushes, and even light refreshments.

Contact me for more information or to sign up. I’ll have a sign-up list at my Open House if there is space left.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

New Mushroom Book in Progress

I’ve been fighting a long block, not able to choose among the many writing and art projects I’ve begun something I feel passionately enough about to devote the year or two it takes to finish one of them. Even the children’s books, which involve hundreds of watercolor illustrations (several for each one I actually use), take years for me to complete. Usually I have no problem with this, but this year I couldn’t decide.

And then, what should come along but all that rain! Hey, mushroom hunters love rain. So while I’ve been grieving the absence of a real summer, I’ve been tracking those big green blotches creeping from west to east on our Michigan radar. I celebrate rain. I hope for rain. I go hiking in the rain.

And I have been rewarded with mushroom hauls unequaled for years. I have gone hunting in familiar places, new places, by myself, with friends, and, most interesting of all, with the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club, located mostly in southeastern Michigan. Here I have the input of the experts, if not always professional, at least very knowledgeable amateurs.

I am having so much fun! And that is usually how I know that I am on a successful project: the more fun I have writing this book, the more fun you will have reading it.

Bay City’s Riverside Art Festival This Weekend!

My art fairs have been doing very well this summer, despite all the economic woes, and most of it has been due to my new book, What’s in the Woods? A Michigan Treasure Hunt, which is selling like hotcakes. I haven’t even had time to send it out to reviewers or notify bookstores about it, being a one-woman show here.

This weekend I’ll be giving away a free Woods book cross-word puzzle to the first 20 buyers of the Woods book and a free crossword puzzle What’s on the Beach? poster to buyers of What’s on the Beach?. All my Michigan nature books will be there.

Also find some dragonfly necklaces ($14.50, reduced from $25) , my Lake Effect note cards, Bay City posters (including the Bay City Bar Guide), Beaver Island Posters, and lots more!

EVERYTHING AT THE FAIR IS HUGELY DISCOUNTED!!! Posters which usually sell for $25 or $30 (even the new Lake Effects III and IV posters) are only $10 at the fair!! $15 note card packs are $10.

See you there!


I’ve devised a Woods book crossword puzzle using 45 species (of the 140) named in my new book, What’s in the Woods: A Michigan Treasure Hunt. It’s free! Just drag the puzzle and the clues to your desktop and print it out. Don’t have your copy yet? Well, the stores are just getting it in. If you’re in a hurry, order it here.

Memorial Weekend at Timmel Gallery in Saugatuck!

I’ll be showing my new Lake Effects III and IV posters, beautiful Lake Effects note cards, original art for the Lake Effect series, and of course, my new book, What’s in the Woods: A Michigan Treasure Hunt. All my books in print will be there too.

And glory be, for the first Memorial Day weekend that I can remember (this is my fourth M.Day show at The Timmel Collection), the forecast is for absolutely perfectly beautiful weather.

So come and see us! Help me celebrate the completion of two huge projects that I’ve been working on for years: The Lake Effect poster series, which  now illustrates an entire year on Lake Michigan, and the new book in my What’s What Outdoors series, What’s in the Woods.

See you there!

What in the Woods, here at last!

What’s in the Woods?, a companion book to my popular What’s on the Beach has been in the works for three years. I never fully appreciated how much work goes into a book—especially a generously  illustrated book—until I did all the work of all a publishing house’s departments myself—researcher, writer, illustrator, editor, book designer, layout artist, producer, advertiser, and distributor (although Partner’s Book Distributors distributes my books too). Everything except the printing, which is done not only in the United States, but in Michigan at Holland Litho in Zeeland.

I just returned from doing a booth at the Ann Arbor Book Festival. I sold 30 copies of What’s in the Woods in just four hours, along with my other titles and many Lake Effects note cards packs. It was an encouraging start to the season.

What’s in the Woods retails at $12.50, with my usual 50% discounts for wholesale and 25% for school and library purchases, 50% for orders of 10 or more. This year I am also offer merchants a free acrylic book display holding 10 books each for orders of 10 copies of one title.

Wowsie wowsie, these are exciting times! My new Lake Effects III and IV posters are out now too. Want me to come for a show or a signing? Contact me to arrange it.